Frequently Asked Questions about the Writers’ Police Academy



Frequently Asked Questions about the Writers’ Police Academy


1. What is FATS?

FATS is an acronym for Firearms Training Simulator.

– WPA recruits experience shoot/don’t shoot scenarios

– For a detailed workshop description visit


2. What should I wear to the WPA?

Wear comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes. And please remember, the event is held in September in the south. It could be very warm and humid. You should also be prepared for the normal afternoon rain showers.

Attire for the reception is casual.

Business casual is acceptable for the banquet, but you’re more than welcome to take it up a notch!


3. What if I can’t keep up with everyone?

The WPA is not physically demanding. Yes, the event is a hands-on event, but it’s designed so that WPA recruits can do as much or as little as they want. The experience is wonderful no matter what you do or don’t do!

There is no running, exercising, lifting, pushing, pulling, etc. There is, however, some walking involved. Yes, you will be expected to walk from workshop to workshop.

The entire event is wheelchair friendly. Service dogs are welcome, too. BUT…please keep in mind that police canines will be on site and they sometimes do not mingle well…

Please, no animals other than service dogs. No exceptions.


4. Can I take photos?

Absolutely. However, some of the police officers on the grounds may be working somewhere in an undercover capacity, therefore, having their image plastered across the internet could prove to be dangerous for them and their families. So please ask before taking any pictures or videos. Everyone is aware that cameras will be on hand so there shouldn’t be any problems. But the WPA is held at a working police academy and there will be on-going classes while you’re there.


5. May I bring my personal weapon?

NO! Absolutely no firearms, pepperspray, Tasers, handcuffs, knives, etc. No weapons of any kind. Please leave them at home. If you need protection I think it’ll be fairly easy to find a police officer within arm’s reach.

Bringing a weapon to the WPA grounds will result in immediate dismissal from the event. No refunds.

(Law enforcement officers, please contact Lee Lofland or Jerry Cooper regarding weapons policies).


6. Are meals provided?

Breakfast is included with your Embassy Suites hotel reservation.

Lunches are not provided by the WPA. However, the local EMS will have sandwiches, chips, and drinks available for a very small donation to their organization. The lunch breaks are brief and the academy is not near any type of restaurant.

You will be on your own for dinner on Friday night. There will be assorted fruits, cheeses, and other goodies available at the reception. (Menu is still a work in progress).

The Saturday night banquet is optional, but you’ll miss a great time if you don’t attend.


7. Can I bring my small children to the event?

We love kids. We really do. But there is no daycare facility on the grounds, and children may not attend the workshops. Some of the material is simply not suitable for children. And, since this is an actual police/fire/EMS academy, there are many, many dangers for children.

Young adults 16 and above may attend as registered WPA recruits.


8. May I bring a guest to the banquet?

Sure. In fact, we welcome banquet guests. All we ask is that you include the appropriate dollar amount on your registration form and then send us a note including your guest’s name. Your banquet tickets will be waiting for you when you arrive.


9. May I bring copies of my books to sell at the event?

Sorry, but the only books that may be sold at the event are those offered for sale by Barnes and Noble at their official event bookstore. And the only books that will be available are those of the WPA faculty and keynote speaker. There may be a few nonfiction titles available that relate to police and forensics. Remember, this is not a writers conference, so take off your marketing hat and enjoy yourself!


10. How are the lucky people chosen for the ride-a-long’s with sheriff’s deputies?

Ride-a-long’s will be chosen by lottery drawing. Everyone who registered before the early bird cut-off date of June 15, 2011 will be eligible. One entry per person.

Winners will ride on patrol, at night (6-10pm) with a Guilford County Sheriff’s deputy. You may transfer your winning ticket to another WPA recruit if you choose to do so.


11. Are there prisoners in the jail that we’ll be visiting?

Yes. The jail houses inmates who’ve committed crimes ranging from misdemeanors to murder. You’ll be escorted by law enforcement, so you’ll be perfectly safe. Please listen to and follow the deputies’ instructions.


12. Will we actually be using real police tools and equipment?

Yes, everything you’ll see at the WPA is real. This is not a watered-down citizens police academy. We want you to see, touch, smell, and experience what it’s like to be a police officer, even if it’s only for three days. I promise you an adrenaline rush before the weekend is over!


13. Will I have time to see and do everything?

Absolutely not. Think of this event as Disneyland For Writers. There is far too much to see and do in one weekend. You’ll need to study the schedule and pick and choose the workshops that interest you the most. We do try to offer each workshop/class/session at least twice. Still, it would be impossible to do it all. We will, however, arrange it so that everyone is able to attend Dr. Ramsland’s Friday presentation.

We are in the process of nailing down the final schedule and hope to have it online and ready to go by June 12, 2011. Please bear with us. It is a scheduling nightmare trying to line up active-duty law enforcement officers and fire and EMS personnel from a few dozen agencies. Not to mention the rotating shifts, vacations, court, sudden call-outs, emergency situations, etc. And we have dozens of large vehicles, equipment, etc. that we have to get into place at the proper times.

The WPA schedule could change at any moment due to any of the above situations.


14. The WPA hotel (Embassy Suites) is filling rapidly. Reserve your rooms now! Remember to ask for the Writers’ Police Academy special rate.

Embassy Suites Hotel Greensboro-Airport

204 Centreport Drive, Greensboro, NC 27409 (336) 668-4535

* The Writers’ Police Academy and the event hotel are conveniently located near the Piedmont Triad Airport. Use Airport Code “GSO”.